First grade, first day

August 15th, 2011

Small Boy started first grade today, excited and nervous and unsure about leaving behind the free-for-all play of Kindergarten for the more serious business of learning. It will be a transition, certainly; he told me tonight that it had gone well but that “there’s a lot more sitting still than in Kindy.” He had Sport (what we’d call gym class) today, but he only has it three days a week and I think that’s going to be rough for the new first graders – they’re used to blowing off a lot of steam in Kindergarten. But the day went well. It certainly helps that he’s moved on to first grade with almost all the 6 year olds from his kindergarten class.

The whole school welcomed the new “Sch├╝lerInnen” – school kids – on their first day. Before, they were Kindergarteners. Now, they’re school kids. The incoming first grade class gathered at the bottom of the walk leading up to the school together with the parents and the two first grade teachers. Then the second-graders, dressed as ladybugs (the ladybug is a good luck symbol in Switzerland) and rattling noise-makers, came to get them. Each second grader took one or two first graders by ┬áthe hand and led them up the walk to the school where the rest of the students waited, lining both sides of the walk and the hallway and the stairs leading up to the first grade classrooms. They sung, the whole school, a song of welcome for the new class and some of the kids even clapped a little as the first graders came through.

And though I know all schools have politics and cliques and bullies and all manner of first grade heartbreak, I felt like I was sending him off to a safe and welcoming place, to a school where the underlying ethos is one of community. I feel like he’ll be okay there, my big-small boy who talks a good game but whose heart breaks pretty easily actually. It was a good start into school.

2 Responses to “First grade, first day”

  1. on August 18, 2011 10:00 am

    Awww, this is too sweet. Mine oldest is heading off to uni next week; I’ve been remembering these memories.

  2. Jennifer on August 28, 2011 8:53 pm

    Hi, Linda, thanks for stopping by. Uni seems so far away, but once upon a time first grade seemed far away too.

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